Mel Riddick isn't sure what is going to happen with the athletic director position at Dieruff High School but he has served the school on an interim basis for more than a month now and has done well with a tough situation in the aftermath of the administrative suspension of Tim Geiger.
"We're getting done what we need to get done," Riddick said. "Vilma Almanza is the office secretary and she has just been outstanding to work with. She's incredible. Because of her this has been an enjoyable experience."
Riddick is a 1973 Dieruff grad who has been coaching in the Allentown School District since 1980 and teaching at Dieruff since 1986.
He was Dieruff's head wrestling coach for the five seasons and a wrestling assistant for another 12.
He was a freshman football coach for four years and the head track coach for four years.
He has also been a wrestling official.
Riddick represented the school on Thursday at the Lehigh Valley Conference Student-Athlete Character and Sportsmanship media session and spoke well on the topic of character.
"The discussion we had ... on character is something I truly believe in and it's the thing that can turn around any program," Riddick said. "You have to instill character and respect.
"What I've learned in my time on this job is that you need to be prepared and you also have to be ready to fly by the seat of your pants at times. There are a lot of adjustments to make on a daily basis."
Riddick said he has enjoyed the opportunity to work with his coaches, other athletic directors and officials.
"Having been an official is a plus because I have an idea of what needs to be done to accommodate them," Riddick said. "It's important to show the officials respect. If we do that as athletic directors, it will rub off on the players."
WALL2WALL GOING STRONG
The Wall2Wall 12&under boys basketball team won the York Ballers tournament on Sunday and now have a 32-0 record this spring and seven tournament titles.
The squad features players from districts throughout the Lehigh Valley. The roster includes:
Justin Paz (ESYC), Justin Rockmore (ESYC), Chico Whyte (ESYC), Isaiah Graves (ESYC), Alex Serrano (Canes), Jahan Dotson (Nazareth), Jay Vaughan (St. Thomas More), Aidan Ellwood (Northampton), Daniel Bonge (Salisbury), Kevin Kern (Saucon Valley) and Mikey Esquilin (Hokendauqua).
"They're playing some real good basketball," said coach Chuck Rockmore. "For only having been together since March, they're doing phenomenal. They're just starting to jell together. They're just starting to talk to each other.
"We're ranked No. 6 on the East Coast by Basketball Spotlight. We had Jalen Cannon and Darrun Hilliard as sixth-graders and I think this group is better than that group was, and that's saying something. What is nice is that these kids come from different towns and ethnic backgrounds and they play so well together. They are something to see."
The team has a big tournament in Neptune, N.J., this weekend and is hoping to raise funds for a national tournament in Hampton, Va., July 23-29.
To help, send donations to Wall2Wall Youth Network, P.O. Box 1488, Allentown PA, 18105-1488 or contact Rockmore at 610-570-4835.